Here are the screen shots for reference. The shot with Fence/Handyman services, ComClean and KRFitLife is found in my inbox, whereas the other shot is the Projects --> Handyman Service (specific project). In this real-life example, Jay B. Shirley Constuction was a handyman service provider that sent me that message via the Jobs section. As a customer, the only way I saw that message from Jay was by going to the Project tab, clicking on Handyman project, then scrolling down. By no means is it clear that Jay is specifically reaching out to me. In other words, aside from the notification of the message 4 hours later (that I didn't receive, but will call customer service for), that's the only way anyone could possibly find out about that Pro. Gareth was the only Pro I contacted myself directly. I only found the other one (cut off from the screen shot) by playing around with the app. Otherwise, I would have reached out to one Pro (Gareth) that ultimately did not want the job.
I agree that the notifications are important, but that's hard for TT to control because each user will have different settings. To me, the biggest concern about it is they don't go to the customers Inbox unless the customer replies. If their notifications aren't set to ON, then the liklihood of the customer seeing our quote and introduction is very low. @Meckell. is there a reason that TT has chosen to NOT have those messages from Pros appear in the customer inbox?
@Meckell Would you mind answering the question regarding the messages from Pros (sent via the Jobs section) not appearing in the inbox of the customer? I'd really like to know why Thumbtack thinks it's best not to show the customer in a more obvious way that Pros would like to contact/work with those customers. There may be a good reason for it, but the question hasn't been answered yet. Thank you!
@WerkFitnessSD Customers can reach out to any pros they’re interested in, but they’ve told us it’s confusing to hear from a pro they haven’t contacted yet. Similar to if you searched for a restaurant on Google, made a reservation, and then other restaurants started calling you. If the customer reaches out to a pro and then starts seeing other messages in their inbox, it can be an overwhelming experience for the customer. That's why it doesn't go into their inbox until the customer respods.
@Meckell Thank you! I get it, and figured that was the case because it wouldn't make sense any other way. I think it's something that Thumbtack should reconsider, simply because the number of messages received from Pros from the Jobs section is limited to 5 to begin with. Further, it would allow more Pros more real opportunities, as well as increased revenue from Pros. With the ranking system, there's only so much a Pro can actually do, and the Jobs section is the only hope to have sort of control over their outcome on the platform. Without the messages going to the inbox, non-chosen Pros can't do much if anything at all.
Without clearly understanding why some Pros are ranked higher than others (see attached image), Pros like me are frustrated by continuously being told to make a better profile, get more reviews, etc.. But everyone also knows that once those things are done (reviews are impossible without real opportunities) that there's nothing else we can do other than make attempts to contact customers via the Jobs section.
To add insult to injury, the Jobs messages that go to the customer don't go to their inbox. Again, while I understand the reason why, surely there could be some adjustments made to not overwhelm the customer (perhaps 3 quotes instead of 5 can be sent to the customer, but to their inbox--perhaps even making it a financial quote ONLY--no written message).
I can honestly say that with my "Super Strong" profile (at best, I rank 20th with filters, and don't rank at all without the filters), it's discouraging that I can't control my own destiny through the Jobs section when I'm not ranking any higher. Without the opportunities in the Jobs section, I'm at the mercy of the customer scrolling through a long list and hopefully being chosen directly. Further, without the opportunities, it's literally impossible to get more than my current 10 reviews.
In other words, I literally can't do anything else to impact my rank to get those new opportunities, and the likilhood of my quote/message being viewed by the customer is VERY low. I'm literally locked in a corner that I can't escape from. Without changes, Thumbtack does neither good (new business) nor harm (no new business means theres no cost).
At this point, I'm likely to ignore my profile permanantly because I can't move up in rank and my quotes/messages sent via the Jobs section won't be seen by the customer at an alarming rate. Without an ability for my quotes to be seen via Jobs, I can't get more new opportunities which, in turn, means I can't get additional hires, reviews or become a Top Pro.
Any other advice or insight you can give is appreciated!